The Colombian peace process between the government and the FARC guerrillas is advancing, promising an end to a fifty-year conflict in which over 220,000 people, 80 percent civilians, have been killed. An important voice for peace is Colombian Congresswoman Clara Rojas González. At a March 24 event sponsored by WOLA and the Latin American Working Group Education Fund (LAWGEF), Congresswoman Rojas gave her perspectives on building peace in her country (see footage above).
Clara Rojas González
is a newly-elected member of the Colombian National Congress for the Liberal Party and a powerful and compassionate voice for victims’ rights. In 2002, she was kidnapped by the FARC guerrillas when she was campaign manager for Green Party presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt. She spent nearly six years in captivity in the jungles of southern Colombia before being freed in 2008. She is the author of three books: Captive
, Resisting Fire
, and Letters to Emmanuel
. Until resigning for her successful congressional campaign, she was executive director of the well-known anti-kidnapping nongovernmental organization, País Libre. Congresswoman Rojas is also an advocate for women’s rights and for accountable government.